AALBC.com’s Look Has Changed Quite a Bit Since 1997

AALBC.com Homepage February 2018

Date: February 28, 2018

AALBC.com has only had one webmaster, Troy Johnson since it was started in 1997. This upgrade’s goal is to modernize AALBC.com’s look and further improve the site’s presentation on handheld devices. There still work to do, but with your support and patronage it will get done; and AALBC.com will continue to thrive for years to come.

AALBC.com Homepage May 2016

Date May 30, 2016

This is the 4th and most substaintial upgrade to the AALBC.com website. We began migrating all of our content from static web pages to dynamically generated web pages which pulls content from a custom designed database.

The articles, author information, book reviews, video, commentary and related information we’ve collected over the past 18 years can now be presented in a wide variety of ways to help you discover your next great read.  The site is now optimized for mobile devices, print, and of course desktop computers.

AALBC.com Homepage January 2010

Date: January 26, 2010

This version of the AALBC.com website lasted the longest, 6 years.  It was the first version of all the previous versions that I was satisfied with in terms of features functionality and design.  While I was not exactly pleased with the homepage, the rest of the website was pretty solid (IMHO).

It was also during the period when AALBC.com moved from being a sideline business to a full time passion.

We are also sporting our newest logo. Kavanaugh of Mosaic Magazine stylized the logo he previously designed. 

March 2007

Date: March 12, 2007

Ron Kavanaugh of Mosaic Magazine designed our new logo which is a big improvement over our original logo.

March 2004

Date: March 3, 2004

This look lasted a couple of years now.  We added more books to the homepage and provided direct links to our most recently added content.

As you can see AALBC.com's homepage is in a constant state of change.  As we learn more and adapt to improvements in technology, you'll see changes not only on the homepage but throughout the site.

While we are better than we were, we are not as good as we are going to get.  Stay tuned for bigger and better things.

January 2001

Date: January 2001

We designed a logo (finally).  We continue to experiment with layout with mixed results.

We begin selling more books directly.  Kevin Powell's Step into a World: A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature is a big seller as well as titles from John A. Williams (the direct sales of books does not turn out to be a viable long term strategy). 

We now have over 1,200 pages of content.  Around this time we simply stop counting pages.


Date: Circa Early 2000

We still were not satisfied.  The drop down menu caused problems with some browsers.  Instead of button we simply used text (often simple is better).

We are now boasting 700 pages.  At the time, this was a huge we site.  All of the pages are linked in such a way that one may go from any page on the site to any other page in 4 clicks of less (the same is true today — even with thousands of pages and dynamically generated content).

Website homepage May 1999

Date: Circa May 1999

After witnessing our struggle with the homepage's layout; Ron Kavanaugh hooked us up with a new design.

Notice the ad banner for the 1st Harlem Book Fair, July 24, 1999.  The Harlem Book Fair ultimately becomes the premier Black Book fair in the country.  AALBC.com has been on the Harlem Book Fair advisory committee for the last few years. 

Website homepage April 1999

Date: Circa April 1999

We are still experimenting with the look and replaced the buttons with a drop down menu.  Advertising banners are introduced onto the homepage.  Advertising eventually becomes AALBCcom's largest revenue stream.

Website homepage March 1999

Date: March 13, 1999

This time we lost the buttons, but continue to struggle for decent look. This homepage may have lasted a couple of weeks.

Now we are up to over 600 pages of content. 

Website homepage January 1999

Date: January 18, 1999

We decided to ditch the book covers and add fancier buttons - that was not such a good idea.

By the way, that is Kindred by Octavia Butler on the homepage. A darn good book. Read it when you get a chance.

AALBC Favorite AuthorsAs a nod to the early days of this website I still use the rotating gif image (b&w image of Connie Briscoe shown on the page) created back in 1998 on the website.

Website homepage November 1998

Date: November 3, 1998

We liked the idea of having books on the homepage so we added nine more.  At the time most people were still using 28.8 kbps modems; having this many books on the homepage increased the page download time dramatically.

These titles were chosen for the homepage because they were the books with the most votes for the Best Books of the 20th Century.  The Color Purple by Alice Walker was Voted #1.

Then we also boasted over 500 pages of content.

Website September 1998

Date: September 4, 1998

The AALBC.com domain was registered in March of 1998.  Here we've "spruced up" the site with some navigation buttons and we took the dramatic step of actually placing the cover of a book on the homepage (E. Lynn Harris' And This Too Shall Pass). 

Notice the BlackWords "Fist with the Pencil" Logo; we were the "Official Web Site" for BlackWord's 360° A Revolution of Black Poets historic event.  Poets are still raving about that event to this today.

We also "boasted" over 400 pages of content

Website homepage October 23, 1997

Date: October 23, 1997

This was the start of the first African American Literature Book Club homepage.  This was before the AALBC.com domain was even registered.

The original website address was http://johnsonpcc.com/books (where Johnsonpcc = Johnson P.C. Consultants). Johnson P.C. Consultants, was a sideline business I ran building website for other businesses.  However, once I discovered the world of Black literature, I abandoned building websites for others to focus on what would ultimately become AALBC.com.

Hip Hop Book Club
Hip Hop Book Club


Introduced 2004
This site is no longer updated and the majority of its content has been migrated to AALBC.com

Thumpers Corner
Thumper's Corner


Introduced 2002
This site is no longer updated and serves as an archive of the the AALBC.com discussion forums (prior to February 2012) and the Coffee Will Make You Black on-line Book Club